Top 10 Spoon and Utensil Embellishments

Though wooden spoons and utensils can be left very simply adorned, adding a little “je ne sais quoi” takes them from a simple kitchen item to a piece of art.

By Rob Brown
Photos by Carlos Eric

1. Chip Carving

Especially common on wide handles, chip carv­ing is a classic way to add detail and intrigue to a spoon or utensil. Because chip carving is an art in itself, I’d recommend practicing your tech­nique and pattern on a scrap before moving to a freshly carved spoon.

2. Pyrography

For adding the user’s initial, a geometric pattern or a shape from nature, a pyrography pen can really heat up your next utensil project.

3. Laminating Multiple Contrasting Species

Just as it does for furniture, bringing two or more species of wood together in one project can add a pleasing effect. The options are almost endless.

4. Texturing

Equipping a rotary tool with the right round bit can leave dimples in the wood. Parting tools will add grooves in the wood. Using a file to add a few small notches near the edge of two sur­faces also works wonders. These are just a few of the many ways to add texture to your wooden utensil.

5. Leaving Tool Marks On

Some woodworkers would rather sand the carved surfaces of a spoon smooth, but if you’re using razor-sharp tools and leaving smooth facets or surfaces, leaving them alone offers a more natural, hand-carved look.

6. Wrap the Handle

Twine, copper wire and other materials can be wrapped around the handle, creating an obvious place to grasp the spoon or utensil. Although they’re usually added strictly for aesthetic reasons, they can turn an otherwise simple object into a piece of art.

7. Paint

A few layers of contrasting milk paint and sanding through one or more layers will add a powerful visual to your wooden utensil. Applying paint on top of a textured surface will add to the effect. Spray or other types of paints can also be used to add a bold colour to the wood.

8. Stain

Staining a portion of the handle is a simple way to add contrast to your spoon. Applying tape to mark a border could work with some stains. Carving a V-groove between stained and non-stained areas is another way to keep the stain from bleeding into an area where it shouldn’t be.

9. Pierced Carving

Commonly used to decorate the wide handles of Welsh and Celtic spoons, pierced carving offers a wide range of possibilities for adorning a wooden spoon.

10. Kolrosing

Never heard of this traditional Scandinavian decorative technique that involves scoring lines into wood, then using oil and darker pigments to highlight the small grooves? You’re in luck. Turn to page 55 to read about it.

Any thoughts, tips or questions you can share?

Leave a comment in the section below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Top 10 Tips for Setting Up a Smart Home Office

Many of us are continuing to adjust to...

Top 10 Finishing Accessories

Along with your favourite topcoats, dyes and stains,...